Rodeo opponent in appeal to minister

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 07:49 06/12/2012

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The Hamilton woman who called out Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman over "offensive" emails has written to Local Government Minister David Carter after Mr Chesterman spoke publicly about her formal complaint.

Mr Chesterman faces a formal hearing over his conduct during an email exchange with doctoral law student and rodeo opponent Alvina Barrett.

Barrister and mediator Deborah Clapshaw, mediation specialist Carol Powell and statutory management chairman John Gower have been asked to consider whether Mr Chesterman breached the council's code of conduct.

But Ms Barrett has told the Waikato Times she has asked the minister whether there are alternative forums to have her complaint heard after Mr Chesterman's public comments on the complaint and her credibility.

The Times this week reported Mr Chesterman's reaction to the complaint, in which he said that Ms Barrett's credibility was for others to decide.

Ms Barrett said she did not believe that she could now get a fair hearing.

"I'm looking at refusing the mediation, based on his [public] comments. Again, it was a personal attack. This is what the whole situation is about."

In emails obtained by the Times, Ms Barrett complains of "innuendo relating to pigs and indigenous people", and about Mr Chesterman's "personal and offensive" responses.

The council's code of conduct provides for a range of disciplinary action when breaches are upheld, ranging from requiring apologies or formal censures, to sacking from official roles.

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- Waikato Times

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